Start the Car

The world of cricket was rocked to its foundations this afternoon when, with just 35 overs gone in the third Ashes Test at the WACA ground in Perth, Western Australia, the 41 year-old international poker player and cosmetic dentistry model, Shane Warne, made a shock decision to come out of retirement.

Although there had been calls for Warne to rejoin the Australian side after their humiliating defeat in the second Test at Adelaide, he had given no indication that he was prepared to make a comeback. However, with England on 242 without loss, and both Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook choosing to bat right-handed in order to combat what Strauss later described as 'the mind-numbing tedium of scoring huge totals very quickly against people who can't bowl', Warne could take no more.

Warne, who has been working for Sky Television, suddenly stood up in the commentary box, removed his jacket, handed it to his co-commentator, the former England captain Mike Atherton, and said, simply, 'Hold that, Athers, I won't be long'.

Warne strode out to the middle, grabbed the worn Kookaburra from a startled Ricky 'Punter' Ponting and began setting an eccentric attacking field which included seven close fielders. The sense of expectation throughout the cricket world was palpable, but Warne's first delivery in Test cricket for almost four years proved to be a disappointment. It failed to spin and was very short, inviting the wide-eyed Strauss to pull it ferociously. The ball cleared the boundary by some 50 metres and was seen on TV to be heading towards a dark haired man with numerous tattoos and a strong resemblance to the discarded Australian player Mitchell Johnson. Johnson was on his ninth beer of the day, but interrupted his thirst-quenching routine to make an unavailing attempt to catch the ball, which rebounded from his right hand and nearly hit the former Test cricketers Ian Botham and Ian Chappell, who, in accordance with time-honoured cricket tradition, were fighting each other in the corner of the bar.

Warne threw his hands in the air in disgust and was heard to mutter something about Australian fielding not being 'what it used to be in the days of the great David Boon'. 'And Boonie could drink. If Johnson could hold his grog he would have caught that no worries'.

Warne returned to the commentary box, arriving just in time to hear David Lloyd deliver an uncomplimentary dissection of his bowling which concluded with the familiar but meaningless phrase 'start the car'.

At close of play England were 654 for 2 off 90 overs, with their coach, Andy Flower, expressing some discontent with the way they had 'let their advantage slip' after tea.

Don't do it, Warnie.


Frans said...

i enjoyed it "mate"...

Brian Carpenter said...

Cheers, Frans. I thought it could have been a bit better but it summed up my views on the crackpot idea of Warne making a comeback pretty well.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

All the Warne returning talk was like the Trescothick, Ramperkash rubbish with England after Headingley in 2009.

A load of hysteria over nothing and 7 days later everyone is left wondering what all the fuss was about! History repeating itself.

A bit like England's batting!!!

Brian Carpenter said...

Dead right, Dean. After Perth it looks even worse than it did after Adelaide. And the whole point of my satire was that it was a completely stupid idea then.

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